Issue Vol. 7, No. 2 / April 2011

Sojourning through Intercultural Communication:A Retrospective
Author(s): William J. Starosta
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The analysis traces the development of an understanding of intercultural communication within the 45-year academic career of William J. Starosta. This understanding started with essentialisms and binaries, and worked toward process and double emic accounts centered on intercultural listening, not just the sending of messages. It likewise moved toward praxis. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 1-5]
Narrative as Discourse: Toward an Analytical Model for the Study of Western Representation of the ‘Other’
Author(s): Qing Cao
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This paper aims to develop a conceptual and methodological framework for analysing Western media representation of the ‘other’. It starts with conceptualising intricate relationships between discourse and cultural representation, followed by a critical discussion of the role of discourse in contemporary society. Drawing on Proppian, Levi-Straussian and Silverstonian narrative theories, the paper proposes a working model for the analysis of media narrative in the study of Western portrayals of the cultural ‘other’. It concludes with an assessment of the significance of discourse analysis as a form of participation in the symbolic world of intercultural representation. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 6-16]
Constructing Multifaceted Cultural Identity Theory: Beyond Dichotomization of Individualism-Collectivism
Author(s): Satoshi Moriizumi
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This paper aims to increase the explanatory power of Individualism-Collectivism (I-C) for complex relationships between culture and communication by (a) refining and extending the theoretical constructs of I-C and (b) integrating cultural identity theories to I-C. A critical review of the conceptual issues of I-C shows that the simple dichotomization of cultural values has been criticized from within and outside the realm of the post-positivist paradigm because (a) the notion of I-C was too simplistic and (b) empirical research findings did not reflect the theoretical predictions of I-C. To overcome these limitations of I-C, I delineate the basic principles of a new theory called Multifaceted Cultural Identity Theory by employing recent research findings of I-C and the theoretical assumptions of cultural identity theories. Some basic assumptions of this theory are: (a) all individuals have multiple identities; (b) I-C influences the salience of one’s personal and social identity; (c) I-C value constructs work as a value content dimension of cultural identity; and (d) I-C has three constructs of individualism, relational collectivism, and group collectivism. Finally, applications and future implications are discussed. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 17-25]
Parade, Celebration and Representation of Identity
Author(s): Pinggong Zhang
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In this essay, the author argues that political and nationalist subjectivity can be seen in terms of desire articulated through various representational performances, rituals, parades, artifacts, ethnic ways and cultural displays on occasions of festivity, as they provide people with cultural identities and gratifying emotional experiences. He also argues for the centrality of the Chinese National Day parade and related activities for understanding relationships between identity and ritualistic performance. The celebration of Chinese identity through display and exhibition was rooted in historical legacies, but now is contextualized by globalized cultural observation. To understand the relationships between the legacy of Chinese culture and collective identity of the people, a useful starting point would be the examination of the organized liminal Chinese rituals and festive celebration. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 26-34]
Naming Suspects in Terrorist Attacks: An Inquiry of Journalistic Stereotypes in Newspaper Coverage of the 2005 London Bombings
Author(s): Bu Zhong, Paul Mihailidis, and Yong Zhou
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Distorted portrayals of terrorists in news media could lead to indistinct perceptions of terrorism and anti-terrorism policies. Using the theory of media priming, this study investigated how 12 major newspapers from four countries – China, Egypt, Switzerland and the United States – named terrorist suspects and used news sources in their coverage of 2005 London bombings. Analyses of the second-day reports found that a journalistic stereotype across the four nations’ newspapers, which were quick to name the suspects’ al Qaeda connection with little verification. The journalistic stereotype may be due to the priming effect of covering a series of prior al Qaeda-launched terrorism attacks. Findings also show that the reports uniformly made officials or experts the basis for the coverage of the terrorist attacks. The findings should provide insight into how journalists make new decisions when covering terrorist attacks. In the digital age, journalists might rely on speculation, unreliable Internet sources, and the auspices of new media communication to report terrorism. Practical implications for journalists were discussed. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 35-45]
Construction of Taliban Image in Pakistan: Discourse Analysis of Editorials of Dawn and The News
Author(s): Shaista Malik and Zafar Iqbal
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The aim of this research study is to investigate as to how the image of Taliban is being constructed in the print media discourses. In the last couple of years, media in Pakistan widely covered the involvement of Taliban, fanning extremism in Pakistan, which, at present, forms a frame of reference in national context. The media coverage shows that Taliban mostly carry negative images. They might have some positive gestures as well, but the overall image is clearly negative. Most of the editorials in leading newspapers see Taliban as a precursor to growing extremism in the country. This paper discusses the difference of image building between two leading English language newspapers - The News and Dawn. The study describes the coverage pattern of the two distinct newspapers on Taliban and extremism. Editorials of these two Pakistani newspapers published from February 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009 were selected to study media construction of the image of Taliban in Pakistan. The rationales behind selecting these newspapers are: (1) both the English newspapers have a high circulation (2) both have distinct editorial policies. The paper concludes that media constructs a negative image of Taliban in the editorial discourses. The paper examines as how the media constructs the image of Taliban and to what extent this portrayal forms derogatory and stereotypical frames of them. Concretely, this study focuses on the frame that has been applied by both the newspapers Dawn and The News while writing editorials on Taliban. These frames identify differences and similarities between the coverage of the two newspapers. The paper does speak of the stylistic features in editorials of both the newspapers. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 46-56]
But is a Picture Worth a Thousand People? Effects of Pictorial Vividness and Numeric Representation on Attitudes Toward the China-Tibet Issue
Author(s): Robert Andrew Dunn, Shuhua Zhou, and Mark Lent
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The present study explored the effects that pictorial vividness and numeric representation have on participants’ perceptions and attitudes toward the China-Tibet issue. Findings indicated that the number of people represented in a photograph and the emotional content or vividness of a photograph had an interactive effect on issue salience in participants. Participants shown vivid pictures were more likely to think the protest got out of hand and were marginally more likely think the protesters were passionate. In addition, rationality buffered some people against such heuristic effects of photographs. Authoritarianism had a negative effect on one’s knowledge of the China-Tibet issue. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 57-65]
Media Frames and Hong Kong Residents' Perceptions of Hong Kong Disneyland
Author(s): Meihua Lee
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This study examines the media frames and Hong Kong residents’ perceptions of Hong Kong Disneyland. The method of content analysis was employed to study the news published in Hong Kong’s popular English newspapers “South China Morning Post” and “The Standard” from September 2005 to May 2006. With the help of the 14 media frames derived from the content analysis, the present study used Galileo multidimensional scaling system to measure Hong Kong residents’ perceptions of Hong Kong Disneyland. The Galileo’s pair-wise comparison questionnaires were administered to 220 Hong Kong residents and their perceptions of Hong Kong Disneyland were captured using the Galileo system. This study presents the results and implications of the survey as well as directions for future research. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 66-76]
The Cross-Cultural Rhetoric of Diplomacy in the Case of the U.S. Surveillance Plane Landing on Hainan Island, China in April, 2001
Author(s): Jim Schnell
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This article addresses how diplomacy was effectively used, as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, to diffuse the controversy related to a U.S. surveillance plane landing on Hainan Island, China in April, 2001 after it had collided with a Chinese fighter jet in international airspace. Rhetorical strategies of the United States and China will be described. This situation is relevant in that it exemplifies how diplomacy can be used to resolve a scenario that could have easily escalated into a significant confrontation on the military, political and/or economic levels. This case study offers lessons for understanding past, present and future controversies between the U.S. and China. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 77-80]
Comparing Consumers' On-Line Shopping Behaviors in Taiwan and the United States
Author(s): Ming-Yi Wu
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This study compares consumers’ on-line shopping behaviors in Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan and the United States are chosen for comparison because previous literature suggests that these two cultures contrast greatly in work-related cultural values. In addition, these two cultures have intensive trading relationships with each other. Through the use of a survey questionnaire which investigates consumers’ on-line shopping preferences and on-line shopping behaviors, this study surveys 362 college students in Taiwan and 372 college students in the United States. The results suggest that there are both cultural similarities and differences in young consumers’ on-line shopping preferences and behaviors in these two cultures. Thus, both cultural convergence and cultural divergence perspectives which explain consumer behaviors in the globalization process are supported. Based on the results of this study, practical suggestions are provided to on-line vendors who are interested in the Taiwanese and the U.S. markets. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 81-90]
Discussion of Social Management Mode Conversion of Hangzhou Government
Author(s): Yihe Pan
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The traditional “Strong Government” mode in China is undergoing transformation. In four cases of observing urban governance, the role of the Hangzhou local government changed significantly from dominator to host, then to equal consultant. This apparent change will have a significant social impact on the government's role of self-perception, and public understanding, and on experience towards democracy. The significance of these microreforms should not be exaggerated, but we need to expand and secure its existing meaning of social and political reform. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 91-94]
Teacher Immediacy, Credibility, and Clarity as Predictors of Student Affective Learning: A Chinese Investigation
Author(s): Qin Zhang
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TThe purpose of this study is two-fold: to investigate the relative magnitude of teacher immediacy, credibility, and clarity as predictors of student affective learning and to examine whether teacher credibility mediates the effects of teacher immediacy and clarity on student affective learning in Chinese classrooms. The study suggests two major findings. First, of the three teacher factors, teacher credibility and clarity are found to be effective predictors of student affective learning in Chinese classrooms, but teacher immediacy is not. In addition, teacher credibility is more predictive of student affective learning than teacher clarity. Second, teacher credibility fully mediates the effects of teacher immediacy and clarity on student affective learning in Chinese classrooms. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 95-103]
It's All Because of Guan Xi: Group-Based Alcohol Drinking in China
Author(s): Yanrong (Yvonne) Chang
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Studies of high-risk communication practices in some cultural groups (DeSantis, 2002; Workman, 2001) suggest that embedded within those practices may be deep cultural meanings and functions that are shared and valued by participants, and they may explain why those practices perpetuate despite external influences (from media, medical experts, family, friends, relatives, etc.) that attempt to stop them. This study explores the cultural meanings and functions of group-based alcohol drinking for its Chinese participants. It shows that the need for building and strengthening Guan Xi (relationships) (Ho, 1998; Hwang, 2000) motivates Chinese people to engage in frequent and excessive group-based alcohol drinking despite the fact that it causes many social and health problems. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 104-112]
Where Have We Been? A Thematic Meta-Analysis of China Media Research, 2005-2009
Author(s): Po-Lin Pan and Juan Meng
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This study used a meta-analytic approach to look at communication scholarships published in China Media Research from 2005 to 2009. A total of 211 articles were included in this analysis. Results showed that most scholars who contributed to the journal represented their institutions from the United States, followed by China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The focus of communication and culture was the most popular research area, and critical and cultural approach was the most frequently used method in the journal. Methodological approaches took a qualitative perspective: three-fourths of studies used qualitative methods, but only one-fourth of studies applied quantitative methods in the journal. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 113-120]
Robert T Oliver: Trailblazer in Intercultural Communication
Author(s): Robert Shuter
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Robert T. Oliver was a scholar extraordinaire and a towering figure in rhetoric and public address, but his contributions to the field of intercultural communication are less well known. For over sixty years, Dr. Oliver wrote prolifically about the impact of culture on rhetoric and communication. Although Dr. Oliver rarely used the words intercultural communication in his writings, which were voluminous, he contributed greatly to the development of the field. This essay focuses on Dr. Oliver’s four major contributions to intercultural communication: (1) Critiquing the Eurocentric bias of rhetoric/communication, (2) offering an Asiacentric alternative to the study of rhetoric/communication, (3) utilizing and intracultural perspective to frame rhetoric/communication research, and (4) envisioning international diplomacy as a site for examining rhetoric/communication. [China Media Research. 2011; 7(2): 121-126]
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